Anthrax drug death: Declan Wallace inquest opens

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An inquest has been opened and adjourned into the death of a Lancashire drug user who died last week after being infected with anthrax.

Declan Wallace, 48, from Kirkham, died at Victoria Hospital in Blackpool.

The Health Protection Agency said it believed he had injected contaminated heroin.

Blackpool Coroner Anne Hind said a full post-mortem examination could not be carried out because of the risk of infection to pathologists.

She said blood tests had confirmed anthrax poisoning.

The hearing will resume at a date yet to be fixed.

Anthrax is an acute bacterial infection most commonly found in hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.

It normally infects humans when they inhale or ingest anthrax spores.

There have been seven confirmed cases of the infection in Europe since June - one in Lanarkshire, three in Germany, two in Denmark and one in France.

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